High school students take first step toward nursing career at SMWC summer camp

August 3rd, 2015 | SMWC

Nursing Camp participants
SMWC nursing camp facilitators and participants (l to r): Terri Moore MSN, RN, Grace White, Sydney Harris, Ashley McNeill, Nyah Luckett, Alexandra Kindley, Madison Funk, Ashley Rogers, Ashlynn Denny, Bobbie Delp DNP(c), MSN, ANP, Koti York

The smile on each young lady’s face was one of pride and accomplishment as each received her pin for completing the nursing camp at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC). Nine future nurses received their certificates during the pinning ceremony on Friday, June 26, 2015, culminating their weeklong hands-on educational experience and glimpse into the field of nursing.

“I gained a lot of confidence in my choice of my future career in healthcare. I also gained a lot of knowledge about the how many branches in nursing there are to choose from,” said Ashley McNeill, of Terre Haute, Ind. “I will definitely pursue a career in healthcare. My goals for the future are to go to SMWC and get a baccalaureate degree to become a labor and delivery nurse.”

The nursing camp provided a unique look at the multifaceted world of nursing and allied health. It was designed to introduce high school students to professional nursing and allied healthcare provision for clients in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Labor & Delivery, Pediatric Care, Adult Medical/Surgical Care, Rehabilitation and Community Based Care. Campers participated in hands on activities, mock codes, simulation and on-site visits.

“Students were able to get a behind the scenes look at nursing and allied health and gain a new perspective,” states Christine Delnat, PhDc, RN, SMWC associate professor and nursing camp co-developer. “Our hope is that this will inform their decision-making as they embark on their educational path toward realizing their career goals.”

Nursing Camp RHIC
Koti York, of West Terre Haute, Ind., learns how to intubate a patient by airway insertion in the Rural Health Innovative Collaborative (RHIC) simulation center.

Throughout the week, camp participants learned about professionalism, interdisciplinary practice, networking and nutrition. The campers toured different types of healthcare settings, including the Rural Health Innovative Collaborative (RHIC) simulation center, where they practiced CPR on a simulator, assisted in the simulated birth of a baby, intubated a mannequin patient by airway insertion, practiced wound care and wrapping injuries, performed basic assessment skills and took vital signs.

“My favorite part of nursing camp was being able to experience hands on activities in the RHIC simulation center at Union Hospital,” states Ashley Rogers, of Terre Haute, Ind. “I plan on pursuing a healthcare career that I enjoy and that allows me to help people.”

An ambulance demonstration took place on SMWC campus, in which the students learned how to stabilize and log roll a patient onto a backboard, then load the patient into an ambulance. The week was packed full of wide and varied experience culminating in the pinning ceremony.

The pinning ceremony is a tradition, dating back to the 12th century, that represents the transition from student to professional and serves as a symbolic welcome into the profession of nursing. So it was fitting that the students were able to participate in this meaningful ceremony after their first week as “nurses.” 

Nursing Camp ambulance demo
SMWC nursing camp participants learned how to stabilize and log roll a patient onto a backboard, then load the patient into an ambulance.

“The pinning ceremony is much more than an event to mark the completion of nursing camp,” said Terri Moore, RN, SMWC adjunct faculty and co-developer, director and co-facilitator of the SMWC nursing camp. “It is a symbolic rite of passage in your preparation toward your future career and a reminder to each one of you of nursing’s historic promise to serve all, especially the underserved.”

SMWC recently launched a Bachelor of Science in nursing campus program. Additionally, the College offers an online RN to BSN program. Applications are still being accepted for both programs to start in fall of 2015. For more information about the SMWC Department of Nursing, visit www.smwc.edu/nursing